Cyclists, brace yourself! The epic cycling challenge on the alluring island of Bintan in the Riau Islands Province is back on. The sixth edition of the tough race that combines sport and tourism in a wondrous setting, the Tour de Bintan 2016 will take place from 1st to 3rd April 2016.
Supported by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia, the 11km test of speed and power against the clock will this time be slightly hillier and a bit more technical than the previous Tour de Bintan ITT course as it negotiates the twists, turns and undulations of an out-and-back loop connecting the Lagoi Bay with Ria Bintan resort areas. Even though TT bikes, aero helmets and disc wheels are again banned for the Prologue, the course should still suit the strong time trialists that include 2013 overall champion Pierre-Alain Scherwey and last year's runner-up Bastian Dohling. However, it's unclear at this stage whether 2014 champ Ayub Gathurima of the Kenyan Riders team will be back to defend his title. Already over 700 participants have so far registered and counting.
Now in its sixth edition, MetaSport as Race Organizer returns to the center of action to its traditional home in the Nirwana Gardens Resort, which is just a short 9km spin away from the Plaza Lagoi where the Prologue will start and finish.
The respective leading teams from Allied World CCN and the Specialized Mavericks, Scherwey and Dohling will be among the favorites battling for the overall trophy and the S$8,000 total prize fund, but they will face stiff competition for the best of the region's cyclists who will definitely flock to Bintan for what has become one of Southeast Asia's premier amateur race.
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